Today Thea learned how to walk without pulling. We started our walk by standing still - and rewarding Thea for looking at us. Once she understood that paying more attention to us was valuable to her we started walking and she chose to stay close by. In the beginning we used a high rate of reinforcement (frequent clicks and treats), but as she continued to walk better we reduced how often we rewarded her. Such a fun, relaxing walk.
Duncan did great learning how to Drop It and Leave It, easily letting alone food that we dropped on the floor. We also practiced Stay while his brother, Woodstock, was eating and he did real well with that too, though I'm sure it wasn't easy for him!
Maggie did really well learning how to Down and Stay. Stay was especially surprising since
she follows her owners everywhere. But today they walked out of the room, up the stairs, and she sat perfectly as I walked out of the door. Great job Maggie!
Duncan did great learning how to Wait and Stay. He learned to wait patiently for his food to be put down, and he learned to Stay so he doesn't beg for food. We then had time to work on going into his crate, which he doesn't like to do. By putting some peanut butter in a bowl and putting it in his crate he was able to stay in his crate for a time while something pleasant happened. A good start towards changing his opinion about the crate.
Thea likes to take things like socks, paper towels, and tissues, so teaching her Drop It and
Leave It is an important skill for her to learn. By trading up we had her dropping socks in no time. It's important to replace the thing we take with something she can have. We then taught her to leave it so she doesn't take and rip up paper. She did really well with both.
Sandy is a counter surfer and she has gotten food in the past, so she is a hard-core counter surfer. Today we taught her to go to a mat and stay, and made being on her mat much better than jumping up at the counter. When your dog is doing something you don't like, train her to do something else instead, and make it worth it!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI